Draping India In Red: How The Government Has Gone Wrong In Tackling Maoist Violence

Posted on October 21, 2014 in Politics, Specials

By Shahnaaz Zabi:

In 2007, the enormous attack of the Maoists in Giridih, posing as CRPF jawans, claimed the lives of 17 people, including the son of Babulal Marandi, former chief minister of Jharkhand. An year back in 2006, the Maoists looted the main store of National Mineral Development Corporation in Chhattisgarh. In Bihar, a horde of Maoists planned a synchronized attack in a prison, freeing 341 of their jailed colleagues, and attacking the paramilitary camp, judge’s residence, district armoury, district court and the district police lines. A similar attack was synchronized in Orissa in 2004, wherein they stormed the Koraput district headquarters and armoury, lifting a huge stock of arms and ammunitions. The year 2003 saw the most spectacular operations conducted by the Communist Part of India (CPI) Maoist, where the then chief minister of Andhra Pradesh, N. Chandrababu Naidu, was attacked in Hyderabad. The attack was so dangerous that it mangled the CM’s bulletproof car and even broke his collarbone. Nearly every week, the newspapers or television show news on Naxalism; the attacks and counterattacks of the Maoists and the army men. These Left-wing extremists’ attacks are nothing but a response to the government’s negligence towards a weaker section of the society.

maoist balance

This berserk growth in the attacks is a clear indication of the fact that a larger section of our society is being alienated, exploited and dispossessed of their homelands. The government is ruthlessly paving way for big business houses, by grabbing agricultural lands, annihilating slums and viciously exploiting the indigenous tribes of the country. Parties like CPI (Maoist) call upon such oppressed people to hit back at the regime, and resist the seizure of their land. And adivasis are one of the major groups that are targeted by the Maoists for recruitment, since they are generally below the poverty line, underdeveloped and displaced off their land — they have a reason to lash back at the state. Maoism is gradually becoming more of an armed agrarian revolutionary war.

Naxalites are basically of Marxist-Leninist-Maoist ideology, which was instigated by the CPI (Maoist) as a movement against the landlords to fight for the landless tribes. Initially, concentrating only on West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh, this fight has gradually spread across the country.

There are around 165 naxal-hit districts in the country, which the officials and media call the Red Corridor Zone, while for the Maoists, it is the Compact Revolution Zone. Moreover, it is slowly spreading its arms around the north-eastern states too. The tea estates are gradually becoming a hub for the Naxals in the North East region.

States like West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh have deployed the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) personnel in border areas to fight the Maoists. The government has much to do to curb the menace of Maoist violence. Rather than just planning counter insurgency operations and supporting vigilante groups to suppress the guerilla movement, the government should try to balance the socio-economic disparity among different classes in the society which is the root cause behind this movement of dissatisfaction.